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The Myth Of Busyness

We take on more

New convenience technologies have never resulted in more leisure time.
When we reach each new Utopia we're neither closer nor further from a true life of leisure. Rather than offload work, we choose equilibrium, absorbing our gains so as to take on more.

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The Myth Of Busyness

The Myth Of Busyness

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/myth-of-busyness_n_55ffffc9e4b08820d91939cf

huffpost.com

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Key Ideas

The status shift

Busyness proselytizers suggest that Thorstein Veblen’s fin de siècle theory of “conspicuous consumption,” whereby the moneyed class establishes its status through ostentatious spending, has reversed itself: that prestige now derives from public displays of personal industriousness, not empty extravagance. 

We take on more

New convenience technologies have never resulted in more leisure time.
When we reach each new Utopia we're neither closer nor further from a true life of leisure. Rather than offload work, we choose equilibrium, absorbing our gains so as to take on more.

Working less

If we ever want to reach a workless society — or at least one where we work less — it won’t do to rely on dispassionate historical or technological forces to bring it about. 

Instead, we’ll have to get it for ourselves.

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2 types of leisure
  • Casual leisure: short-lived, immediately gratifying, and often passive; it includes activities like drinking, online shopping, and the aforementioned binge-watching.
  • Serious leisure: meaningful, challenging activities that cause you to grow as a person.
The instinct for leisure
We need to be as vigilant about the quality of our free time as we are about the quality of our work.

In a live-to-work society, where your career is also your identity and status, the instinct for leisure atrophies. Paradoxically, then, getting a good weekend means working at leisure.

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Our culture of work

Our culture claims that work is unavoidable and natural. The idea that the world can be freed from work, wholly or in part, has been suppressed for as long as capitalism has existed.

Exploring the abolition of work
  • In 1885, socialist William Morris proposed that in the factories of the future, employees should work only four hours a day.
  • In 1930, John Maynard Keynes predicted that advances in technology would lead to an age of leisure where people might work 15 hours a week.
  • Since the early 2010s, these ideas have been developed further, creating a growing critique of work as an ideology, and exploring alternatives to work.
  • Post-work offers enormous promises: In a life of much less work, life would be calmer, more equal, more communal, more pleasurable, more thoughtful, more politically engaged, more fulfilled.
Work ideology

The work ideology is not natural nor very old.

  • Before the modern era, all cultures thought of work as a means to an end, not an end in itself.
  • Once the modern work ethic was established, working patterns started to shift. Between 1800 and 1900, the average working week shrank from 80 hours to 60 hours, and in the 1970s to roughly 40 hours.
  • In 1979, Bernard Lefkowitz related in his book that people who had given up their jobs reported feelings of "wholeness." During the same period, because wages were high enough, it became possible for most people to work less.
  • During the 80s, work ideology was reimposed by aggressively pro-business governments who were motivated by a desire for social control.
  • By the early 21st century, the work culture seems inescapable.

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    Busy Being Busy

    We are far too busy in ways not imagined before, though productivity hasn't increased proportionally. Studies show we have more leisure time than before but have become overwhelmed with ...

    Accept Defeat

    Time and resources are limited but 'everything that is to be done' is always unlimited, so there is bound to be a compromise, a trade-off.

    Something will always be neglected or deprioritized, no matter what you do.

    Respect your rhythms and body clocks

    Humans are not a machine or a piece of equipment, that can be made to work overtime and show more productivity.

    We don't work like a machine, and working more hours does not mean more actual work. If we respect our body clock and work with it, we can be more productive.

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